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Top consultants roll out international health and safety standard

Four major UK consultants and industry body Constructions Skills this week launched an international version of a health and safety test.

Atkins, Arup, Halcrow and Mott MacDonald make up the Consultants H&S Forum, which has developed the international version of the Construction Skills Health and Safety test that will now be rolled out by each of the four firms abroad.

One of the issues behind the initiative is the desire to influence key clients in the countries where the firms have developed operations. “In other countries, health and safety standards are client driven,” said Arup group health and safety manager Richard Wilson. “So we’re seeking to influence through the client to achieve the best standards.”

Atkins has been trialling the test for 18 months for about 750 of its Middle East staff. The trail enabled the company to fine-tune the test to suit an international workforce, such as neutralising UK terminology and regulation and allowing it to be managed locally.

The implementation of the test will initially focus on the Middle East followed by India, Asia Pacific, Africa, Europe and North America.

The four firms have been working together for the past five years by setting up the Consultants H&S Forum to promote health and safety and good practice by setting up the. The Forum has developed the test as a risk management tool to help improve health and safety standards.

Initially the test will be rolled out to employees of each of the four firms. However, the forum hopes that it will be adopted by clients and other firms in they are working with in the region.

The computer-based test consists of 50 randomly selected questions from a bank of 500. It will be taken at the company’s office under local invigilation.

The test was launched in 2000 and is taken by about 500,000 participants per year. Although it is voluntary, a number of high profile sites, such as the Olympic Park, now require a valid card.

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